Driving in the snow can be a challenge for any car. Even the most sophisticated all-wheel-drive system won’t do you any good when you have to slam on the brakes on ice, slush, or snow. For these conditions, a set of snow tires can help dramatically. They are made with a special rubber compound that is able to stay soft and malleable even in cold snowy conditions. This allows the car to grip the road better than when equipped with summer tires that can become hard like plastic in the same conditions.
Snow tires are usually installed in the beginning of winter in anticipation of storms to come, but what if the winter season is just cold? What happens when you’re not faced with icy roads or other treacherous winter conditions? Do you still benefit from snow tires?
In this video posted by Engineering Explained, host Jason Fenske attempts to answer these questions by performing a series of stopping distance tests. He uses special equipment that measures his stopping distance, and he performs the tests using his summer tires first, and then his winter/snow tires. All tests were from 60 MPH down to zero driving a Honda S2000.
Surprisingly, the results showed that in 25-degree weather with no snow or ice on the ground, the snow tires performed much worse than the summer tires. Jason recorded a stopping distance of about 130 feet with the summer tires and about 160 feet with the winter tires. This test proved that on this car at least, the winter tires don’t do a thing if it isn’t snowing. Interestingly, the snow tires felt more stable while braking as Jason didn’t need to compensate much to keep the steering wheel straight. In the end, the winter tires are much better in the snow, and it’s not very realistic to switch them out every time the snow melts. Just be aware that your stopping distance will be reduced when it’s dry road conditions.
Winter Tires for Sale on Amazon
If you want to be best prepared for winter driving, when warm weather and dry pavement are scarce, you obviously need a good set of winter tires. Thankfully, Amazon is stocked with all the best tire brands out there, so you shouldn’t have any problem finding the right tires for you.
The Sumitomo Ice Edge Snow Radial Tire, for example, is stocked with a number of special design features that are ideal for any winter weather conditions, including tread pattern and tread depth designed for maximum performance in colder temperatures. It also has special 3D technology that offers the ultimate bite in the most treacherous driving conditions. All you need to do is pick the right tire size, and you’re good to go.
The Goodyear Wrangler Radial Tire, on the other hand, can handle any road conditions, thanks to its heavy-duty construction, and is specially designed for enhanced handling.
Finally, the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 Winter Radial Tire comes with large shoulder blocks that offer precision cornering and handling as well as optimized construction that improves fuel efficiency. The Bridgestone Blizzak’s top-notch design also ensures better grip and braking and improved traction in cold weather, ice, and snow.
This post was originally published on December 16, 2019.